Monday, October 29, 2007

What is Halloween?

As I suspected my enthusiasm outweighed that of Little D when it came to making our altar. Ah, well. At least I had his full attention while he sat on the toilet and we managed to discuss a few important tidbits. What did we talk about?

Autumn is a time of change. The leaves turning colour is Mother Nature's way of letting us know that now is a good time to make changes in our lives. Now we can leave behind all the things that we didn't like about last year, and take steps to making next year even better. We talked about things that we liked and did not like and what sort of things would be good for our family.

Halloween is a night when we can invite people who have passed to come for a visit. On this night it is much easier for them to visit us than it is the rest of the year. We will let them know that we miss them and are thinking of them by placing some of their favourite things on our altar. We put walnuts on the altar for Great-Grandfather Knickertwist and pink roses for Great-Grandmother. Little D drew a picture and collected some beautiful fall leaves to decorate our altar with too.

There are other things that we can place for other spirits who may want to stop by. It's a long journey for them and they may want to freshen up so we place a bowl of water and a clean towel for them. Some spirits like sweets so we'll place some treats there too. We'll also put out a glass of wine and a glass of water. We want to make sure that we are good hosts for our guests. We will burn incense on our altar as well. Incense smoke helps to send our messages, as it raises it carries our thoughts and wishes. Incense also makes our air sweet and inviting to good spirits, bad spirits don't like the smell so much.

Little D is particularly fond of my cauldron and making potions. We talked about what types of potions we could make and what sort of magick would be good. After I talked him out of making a "frog turning potion" (quite literally) we have decided to make a potion for good luck. Our 'potion' will actually be an herbal blend and he will begin to learn about herbs as and which ones may bring our house good fortune. Little D has a great deal of interest in herbs and plants, especially those that grow in our garden. He's also been asking questions about four leaf clovers and so I think that we'll be adding a few into the mix.

Collecting candy and dressing up is his priority at the moment. Sometimes, in my own excitement, I forget that as a four-year-old tunnel vision takes effect and THIS is Halloween. Although I've told him that people first gave out treats so that ghouls wouldn't play tricks on them, and dressing up is to confuse people and spirits, I know that at the moment he's only concerned with if he will get some goodies for his treat bag.

Halloween should be the happiest and most joyous holiday. I'm trying not to get too carried away passing information along to him. What I really want, more than anything, is to foster a positive feeling about the season and create happy memories that will inspire him as he grows.